Thursday April 13, 2017
Pulling water from desert air, just like Star Wars predicted
more stories from this episode
- Bad Vibes: How shaking buildings could be making you sick
- Pulling water from desert air, just like Star Wars predicted
- A new approach to Canadian science funding?
- Are there really 7,000 Siberian methane bubbles ready to explode?
- Scratches show earliest evidence of right-handedness
- Quirks & Questions: How can I guarantee I'll become a fossil after I die?
- Full Episode
A team of scientists from U.C. Berkeley and M.I.T. have made a device that pulls clean drinking water out of thin air.
The secret behind the device is a water-adsorbing powder specially engineered to capture and release water molecules at certain temperatures.
At night, the lid containing the powder is exposed to air and collects water. In the morning, the lid is flipped to enclose the water-logged powder inside the box. Sunlight heats up the powder, releasing water vapour into the enclosed box that is condensed and made into make drinkable water.
The device is poised to help large parts of the world's population living in arid regions where access to water is limited.